Lab_13 Irchester’s guide to making your own batteries

As we have been hard at work recycling batteries, lots of children wanted to know how batteries are made! Here are three different types of batteries we have made and tested:

Fruity Batteries

3 fruit battery close

Year 3  had a go at making fruit batteries and fruit electronics. Here is the equipment you will need if you want to have a go:

  • A penny made of copper
  • Fruit x2. You might need more if you want to create more power
  • Nails coated in zinc
  • Wires and crocodile clips
  • A led light or a clock

Here is how you make it. First get a piece of fruit, then put the penny in it. Next you put a nail in the fruit. After that you clip a crocodile clip wire to the nail and another wire to the penny. Then you need to clip the other end of the wires to the clock or LED.

You don’t have to use zinc and copper, you can try using other metals instead: such as steel, titanium or silver! Any two different metals should work, but some will not work very well. You can also use any fruit that has acid inside it, like: lemons, limes, apple , oranges , tomatoes and finally potatoes.

mud batteries

Mud batteries

As well as fruity batteries, Family_lab made and tested out mud batteries! These work in exactly the same way, but the salts and natural acids in a pot of soil replaced the acids in fruit. We used a voltmeter to compare them, and found limes were the best, while mud was about the same as tomatoes and potatoes.

Coin Batteries

Year 4, 5 and 6 took it one step further, and made their own batteries without needing messy pieces of fruit or mud: we are going to tell you how they did it. Here are the things you will need: a petri dish or bowl, a copper coin, tin foil and a paper towel cut into a small circle. Then you can start building your battery. You need make a stack: start with a coin, then get your small paper circle and soak up your lemon juice. Put the paper towel on top of the coin and finally you put the tin foil on top. Repeat that at least 5 times then test if it works! Get a LED bulb, a small clock or anything like that and use 2 wires with crocodile clips to connect it to your battery.

All the batteries worked very well for powering a small LCD clock or a little buzzer. They could also light up a LED, but not very bright! We tried to light up a bulb and make a motor spin, but our batteries weren’t strong enough for that.

5 battery close

By Noah, Aiden, Fintan and Josh.

About lab13network

Lab_13 is a space in a school managed by pupils for pupils to conduct their own research and experiments driven by their curiosity, imagination and enthusiasm, and under the watchful supervision of a Scientist in Residence (not a teacher!!).
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